State to File Civil Complaint, Dissolution Action in Doc Hurley Scholarship Foundation Investigation
For immediate release TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2014
HARTFORD – The state will file a civil complaint against the executive director of the Doc Hurley Scholarship Foundation seeking civil penalties and injunctive relief for the alleged use of charitable funds for personal expenses, Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said today. The state will also file a separate action seeking dissolution of the existing foundation after a joint investigation found no assets left in the organization’s possession.
“There’s a long list of people whose lives were transformed because of the higher education opportunities that the Doc Hurley Scholarship Foundation has provided over the years,” Governor Malloy said. “The man whose name the foundation bears cares deeply about the Hartford community and has made such a positive impact on this city. I applaud the efforts of Attorney General Jepsen and Commissioner Rubenstein to hold anyone involved in damaging this scholarship fund fully accountable.”
“The fact that funds intended to benefit needy scholarship recipients were apparently used to support someone’s personal lifestyle is simply unacceptable,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “We will be looking to hold Muriel Hurley-Carter accountable for those actions.”
“I know we all share great disappointment when learning that a worthy and admirable cause such as the Doc Hurley Foundation appears to have been improperly exploited, and my office and that of the Attorney General are mutually resolved to seek appropriate redress,” Commissioner Rubenstein said.
The state’s civil complaint against the foundation’s executive director, Muriel Hurley-Carter, alleges that she misused significant charitable funds for her own personal gain, including cash withdrawals, payments to at least one personal credit card account and to pay for personal expenses including dog daycare and grooming services, retail purchases and a personal trainer.
The state is seeking civil penalties against Hurley-Carter for each individual violation and forfeiture of any misappropriated funds. The state’s suit also seeks a permanent injunction against Hurley-Carter holding any office, directorship or position of employment or any other association with a charitable organization in Connecticut where she will have control of the funds of the organization or authorization over the disbursement of funds.
The state is also seeking a court order that would dissolve the current Doc Hurley Scholarship Foundation as its assets have been improperly depleted, which has resulted in the cessation of its core corporate mission.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has informed the Attorney General that it will establish a new Doc Hurley Scholarship Fund for Greater Hartford, providing a vehicle for members of the community to honor Walter “Doc” Hurley’s name and legacy. The new fund will seek to continue the core mission of the scholarship program created by Doc Hurley.
“We should not let this unfortunate episode tarnish the good work Doc Hurley provided to our community,” Governor Malloy said. “I commend the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for creating this vehicle to continue his legacy.”
“This is a highly unfortunate situation, but one of our hopes since commencing our investigation was for Doc Hurley’s legacy to be preserved for the community,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “I’m pleased that the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has stepped forward to help continue his good works.”
“The greater message today is the ongoing resilience and dedication to achievement and excellence within the Greater Hartford community,” Commissioner Rubenstein said.
Connecticut law requires that any asset intended for public or charitable use or any bequests held as a charitable trust shall forever remain to the uses and purposes to which such asset was granted according to the true intent and meaning of the grantor and to no other use. The Attorney General is required by state law to “represent the public interest in the protection of any gifts, legacies or devises intended for public or charitable purposes.”
Please select this link to view the state’s civil complaint against Muriel Hurley-Carter.
Assistant Attorneys General Gary Hawes, Caitlin Calder, Karen Gano and Mark Kohler, head of the Special Litigation Department, are assisting the Attorney General with this matter.
Office of the Governor: Samaia Hernandez firstname.lastname@example.org 860-524-7314 (office) 860-770-8298 (cell)
Office of the Attorney General: Jaclyn M. Falkowski email@example.com 860-808-5324 (office) 860-655-3903 (cell)
Department of Consumer Protection: Claudette Carveth firstname.lastname@example.org 860-713-6022 (office)